Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby newpylong » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:03 am

Regarding Hoosick Junction reworking: the grant money the got for the jct is for "phase 1" which is some yard tracks east of the east wye. Eventually phase 2 will be double iron down to 444.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby GU1001 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:54 pm

NS Geo train in Deerfield today credit Matt Baj:

http://photos.nerail.org/s/?p=236002

I wonder how painful the next speedo list will be?
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby B&M 1227 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:40 pm

newpylong wrote:Regarding Hoosick Junction reworking: the grant money the got for the jct is for "phase 1" which is some yard tracks east of the east wye. Eventually phase
2 will be double iron down to 444.


so when are they going to hire me back as their operations manager...
Did we ever hear a music sweeter than the one that thrills, as it floats along the Deerfield, as it echoes o'er the hills.
How we watch that little engine as it stalks across the plain; was there ever music sweeter, was there ever sight completer, than the coming of the train?
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby johnpbarlow » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:39 am

Perhaps against my better judgement I'm going to offer an opinion:

As background to my thought, many of us New England rail fans have been waiting patiently for NS to take over 100% ownership of PAS and are puzzled why it hasn't happened given its recent acquisition of D&H South Lines and a perceived need to solidify/grow PAS business via improving the reliability/punctuality of the "last mile" service to intermodal/automotive/manifest freight shippers between Mechanicville and Ayer. Rather, Pan Am has spent money to acquire 20 more locomotives that likely wouldn't be needed if NS took over 100% of ops west of Ayer.

Net: perhaps NS is waiting for CSX to make the first move in restructuring its network, including not just the rust belt but the ex-B&A east of Selkirk. Especially now that EHH is on-board at CSX. While it is hard for me to believe that CSX would walk away from servicing New England (other than ceding services on the cluster of branch lines around Boston to shortlines), I think it would be a huge win for NS to gain access to the double stack-cleared Selkirk to Worcester CSX main (via upgraded Voorheesville line) perhaps through sharing of the B&A in conjunction with a quid pro quo of NS offering CSX similar access rights elsewhere (caveat: clearance work on PAR's Worcester line is apparently needed to accommodate double stack intermodal traffic to Hill Yard - but there would be no T traffic conflicts except for autos getting out to Sanvel). IOW, NS would downgrade PAS District 3 to secondary status serving only local customers and interchange: NS-P&W/NECR/CSOR interchange traffic would move via Worcester; E Deerfield can be downgraded; no Hoosac Tunnel clearance work would be necessary; could exploit any future doubling tracking of CSX between Worcester and Springfield for Inland route passenger service if local pols get their way; etc.

Not giving up my day job... :wink:
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby newpylong » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:58 am

They will never take over or split the B&A from CSX.

They haven't bought the B&M or PAS yet because they make investments in increments. Buying the D&H gave them near ownership to their IM yard at XO and to PAS. Buy that first, see what the ROI is and how traffic can grow, or can't grow, and then go from there. They wouldn't buy them both in one fell swoop.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:32 am

Keep in mind as well, those brawny GE's make a good bedrock fleet for Worcester-Ayer-Portland and Portland-Waterville after the system gets partitioned, as D2's future is all about working those Class I interchanges to the hilt on a to-be DS-cleared Western Route. More efficient power lash-ups for the highest-margin biz to build around those. They'd probably be the only keepers in the fleet for next buyer.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby Arlington » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:11 am

Forgive the question: what's D2?
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby 690 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:35 am

Pan Am's District 2, which goes from Rigby (MP200) west to CPF312 in Littleton.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby jaymac » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:38 am

My 1.5 cents-worth is that NS will be waiting a bit before making any dramatic moves. The general decline in revenue is one factor, and the acceptance by consignees and shippers -- however grudging -- of the current level of service-quality on PAS is another. The dramatic changes -- even drama -- that have been and will be continuing to occur at CSX are probably another cause to not act quickly. The NS playbook has probably been written to cover a number of twists and turns, and as events unfold, so -- probably -- will the plays.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:50 am

CSX becoming a stronger competitor probably gives more impetus and not less to Norfolk Southern's plans for the Hoosac Tunnel. Pan Am Southern has had it easy in some respects because CSX has not been a "perfect" railroad. E. Hunter Harrison's ascent will probably change that.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby KSmitty » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:54 pm

gokeefe wrote:CSX becoming a stronger competitor probably gives more impetus and not less to Norfolk Southern's plans for the Hoosac Tunnel. Pan Am Southern has had it easy in some respects because CSX has not been a "perfect" railroad. E. Hunter Harrison's ascent will probably change that.

That is quite the opposite. EHH is good for the railroads books, not the operations. He sells off anything not immediately necessary, cuts staff across the board and runs fewer trains. He slashes and burns the company until the margin widens. Stock price rises and the Activist Investor he works for tells him he done good, then unloads all the stock before Harrison leaves to enjoy the quick boost in price.

They both get out before the fact that they gutted the company of essential pieces can catch up with them.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great time to buy CSX stock. In 3 years it will have grown 25%. But generally speaking the margin is better not from growth or a sound long term plan but rather because he cut to the bone. His arrival should be seen as a positive by investors and a negative to customers.

Take a quick look through his history. Customers hated him at CN and CP.
Last edited by KSmitty on Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby newpylong » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:06 pm

+ employees. He's scum.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby KSmitty » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:05 pm

George, conside this piece of analysis from Trains Magazine''s editor, Frederick Frailey.
http://cs.trains.com/trn/b/fred-frailey ... t-csx.aspx

He said, in much nicer terms, what I said. He doesn't grow business, he murders costs. If anything this will be good for traffic on 22k/23k.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:43 pm

Figure on a "final" retreat to Worcester on the CSX ,with EHH leading the charge to sell off all the local business around Boston's
Metro area to local shortlines.
And selling off Framingham yard to a local "Developer". :(

IT might force NS's hand to pull the buyout trigger on PAS sooner than what PAR's management would like.
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Re: Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:51 am

Any 'trigger' is still premature as the engineering firm designing the Hoosac enlargement hasn't returned its final paperwork and cost estimate yet. NS is no doubt antsy to get going on it, but they need the final results to peg it on a construction calendar and need that final cost valuation to see if the self-funding commitment is enough to do the job or if MassDOT needs to be triaged for any supplemental fed or state grants to cover any overages. Since PAR is on the hook for funding their fair share of the cost, NS isn't going to do the buyout until they've collected Billerica's check for the construction contractor. Likewise, Billerica has no motivation to sell D3 because D3 isn't maxed out for sell-high value until the Hoosac enlargement is formally programmed on the calendar and there's some sort of reliable "Day 1" certainty they can pin to a future fiscal year for when the double stacks will be able to flow.

The buyout is most likely going to happen when DS work is in closeout, sort of like how track ownership on the Conn River was dished off to MassDOT during closeout of those upgrades but before EDPL saw a quarter's worth of fiscal results from the improved speeds/reliability. Conceivably, if everyone is in a hurry, it could happen when construction starts are formally programmed and pegged on the calendar with certainty. But that earliest-possible cutoff is still about 18+ months away. More likely if it's a closeout timetable we're still talking about 3 more years. Obviously the EHH situation with CSX is a minor variable in whether NS opts for a hurry-up and PAR sees an earlier cresting in D3's sale value as a result...but no way does either party jump the gun on a locked-and-loaded construction schedule. PAR can't refine its price if it doesn't know what NS fiscal year that full-capacity IM traffic is going to commence, and NS is damn sure going to collect Billerica's obligated share of Hoosac construction costs before it sends them packing.
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